Wednesday, September 7, 2016
I just had a birthday.
I love birthdays. Call me silly, but I always hoped that my children would be born in different months of the year, so that we could sprinkle the family celebrations throughout the calendar. The stork obliged me by delivering my three bundles of joy in separate months. Those baby bundles are mostly grown up now, but I still keep a supply of birthday candles ready to go.
I think of my own birthday sort of like my own personal New Year's Day--a time to reflect on all that the past year has brought and to plan and dream for the next year.
This year felt a little different, though. I turned 53 on September 5. As I was thinking about my birthday, I realized that in all my life, I had never really planned to be 53. What's special about 53?
Turning 53 isn't a big celebration like turning 50. I've been in my 50's now for awhile, but am I in my mid-50's? Surely not yet.
All my life I've heard people say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." You've heard that, haven't you? I think the saying even made it into a couple of commercial jingles when I was a kid. Well, let me just tell you: that statement sounds better when you're 23 or 33 or even 43.
Then it occurred to me that turning 53 is a gift. It might not be a "special" year, but it's my year. It's the year God has given me. Right here, right now, I can choose how I will react to being 53.
I can choose to wish I were in a different place, or I can choose to celebrate where I am.
I can compare my place in life with that of everyone around me, or I can embrace this spot and be thankful for it.
I can regret the years that have slipped by and worry about the years still to come, or I can rejoice in the time given to me today.
By the grace of God, I'm choosing to celebrate, to be thankful, to rejoice.
What about you? Are you at a "special" age? Do you think every age is special? Care to join me in choosing to celebrate?